JP2010087504A - Solar energy conversion device - Google Patents

Solar energy conversion device Download PDF

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JP2010087504A
JP2010087504A JP2009211331A JP2009211331A JP2010087504A JP 2010087504 A JP2010087504 A JP 2010087504A JP 2009211331 A JP2009211331 A JP 2009211331A JP 2009211331 A JP2009211331 A JP 2009211331A JP 2010087504 A JP2010087504 A JP 2010087504A
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panel
panels
energy
solar
solar cell
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Harold John Hoevel
ハロルド・ジョン・ヘーベル
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Internatl Business Mach Corp <Ibm>
インターナショナル・ビジネス・マシーンズ・コーポレーションInternational Business Maschines Corporation
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Application filed by Internatl Business Mach Corp <Ibm>, インターナショナル・ビジネス・マシーンズ・コーポレーションInternational Business Maschines Corporation filed Critical Internatl Business Mach Corp <Ibm>
Publication of JP2010087504A publication Critical patent/JP2010087504A/en
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L31/00Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof
    • H01L31/04Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof adapted as photovoltaic [PV] conversion devices
    • H01L31/042PV modules or arrays of single PV cells
    • H01L31/043Mechanically stacked PV cells
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L31/00Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof
    • H01L31/04Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof adapted as photovoltaic [PV] conversion devices
    • H01L31/042PV modules or arrays of single PV cells
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L31/00Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof
    • H01L31/04Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof adapted as photovoltaic [PV] conversion devices
    • H01L31/042PV modules or arrays of single PV cells
    • H01L31/0445PV modules or arrays of single PV cells including thin film solar cells, e.g. single thin film a-Si, CIS or CdTe solar cells
    • H01L31/046PV modules composed of a plurality of thin film solar cells deposited on the same substrate
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L31/00Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof
    • H01L31/04Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof adapted as photovoltaic [PV] conversion devices
    • H01L31/042PV modules or arrays of single PV cells
    • H01L31/0445PV modules or arrays of single PV cells including thin film solar cells, e.g. single thin film a-Si, CIS or CdTe solar cells
    • H01L31/046PV modules composed of a plurality of thin film solar cells deposited on the same substrate
    • H01L31/0465PV modules composed of a plurality of thin film solar cells deposited on the same substrate comprising particular structures for the electrical interconnection of adjacent PV cells in the module
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L31/00Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof
    • H01L31/04Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof adapted as photovoltaic [PV] conversion devices
    • H01L31/042PV modules or arrays of single PV cells
    • H01L31/05Electrical interconnection means between PV cells inside the PV module, e.g. series connection of PV cells
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L31/00Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof
    • H01L31/04Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof adapted as photovoltaic [PV] conversion devices
    • H01L31/042PV modules or arrays of single PV cells
    • H01L31/05Electrical interconnection means between PV cells inside the PV module, e.g. series connection of PV cells
    • H01L31/0504Electrical interconnection means between PV cells inside the PV module, e.g. series connection of PV cells specially adapted for series or parallel connection of solar cells in a module
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L31/00Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof
    • H01L31/04Semiconductor devices sensitive to infra-red radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength or corpuscular radiation and adapted either for the conversion of the energy of such radiation into electrical energy or for the control of electrical energy by such radiation; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof adapted as photovoltaic [PV] conversion devices
    • H01L31/042PV modules or arrays of single PV cells
    • H01L31/05Electrical interconnection means between PV cells inside the PV module, e.g. series connection of PV cells
    • H01L31/0504Electrical interconnection means between PV cells inside the PV module, e.g. series connection of PV cells specially adapted for series or parallel connection of solar cells in a module
    • H01L31/0508Electrical interconnection means between PV cells inside the PV module, e.g. series connection of PV cells specially adapted for series or parallel connection of solar cells in a module the interconnection means having a particular shape
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L2924/00Indexing scheme for arrangements or methods for connecting or disconnecting semiconductor or solid-state bodies as covered by H01L24/00
    • H01L2924/0001Technical content checked by a classifier
    • H01L2924/0002Not covered by any one of groups H01L24/00, H01L24/00 and H01L2224/00
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E10/00Energy generation through renewable energy sources
    • Y02E10/50Photovoltaic [PV] energy

Abstract

An optical tandem photovoltaic panel is provided.
A solar energy conversion device comprises a vertical stack of at least two panels stacked in a hierarchy from an upper panel to a lower panel, each panel being a solar cell of another panel in the vertical stack of panels. A matching array of solar cells with different energy band gaps. Each panel in the vertical stack is such that the panel with the higher energy bandgap solar cells is positioned in the hierarchy and stack on top of the other panels containing the lower energy bandgap solar cells. Can be arranged. The top surface of the device is adapted to receive solar energy incident on the top panel. Each top panel absorbs the portion of sunlight that has a photon energy that is larger than its energy band gap, and lowers the photons that have a photon energy that is less than the larger photon energy in the lower stack in the hierarchy. Transmit to one of the remaining panels located at.
[Selection] Figure 1

Description

  The present invention relates to a photovoltaic energy conversion device (EDC), and more specifically, to a photovoltaic cell (photovoltaic cell), for example, a battery-type ECD (optical tandem type) comprising a laminate of panels to which a photovoltaic cell array is attached. Photovoltaic panel).

Definition Electromagnetic Radiation-Electric Energy Conversion Device (EREECD): A device that reacts with electromagnetic (light) radiation to produce electrical energy.
Light Radiation-Electric Energy Conversion Device (OREECD): A device that reacts with optical electromagnetic radiation to produce electrical energy. Such a device can be a radiation absorbing device, such as a photodetector / counter, a photovoltaic cell (solar cell) or a light-driven electrolysis cell.
Optoelectronic energy device (OED): A device that reacts with optical radiation to produce electrical energy through an electronic device.

  Photocell: An electrical device that has two electrodes and converts light or other radiant energy ranging from ultraviolet to infrared incident on the surface into electrical energy in the form of power / voltage / current, usually the opposite A diode having a top electrode and a bottom electrode having electrical polarity. The photovoltaic cell generates a direct current that flows through the electrodes. As used herein, the term photovoltaic cell is the generic name for cells that convert radiant energy into electrical energy, including EREECD, OREECD, and OED as defined above.

  Solar cell: An electrical photovoltaic device (eg, a semiconductor) that has two electrodes and converts light incident on the surface into electrical energy, usually having a top electrode and a bottom electrode with opposite electrical polarities. It is a diode having. Solar cells generate a direct current that flows through the electrodes. As used herein, the term solar cell is the generic name for a cell that converts radiant energy into electrical energy.

Panel: A structure formed on a substrate made of glass, quartz, metal, or other material, having a plurality of solar cells that can include electrical input and output means mounted thereon .
TCO (transparent conductive oxide): an optically transparent conductor.
Laminate: cascade (cascade) panels that are arranged so that sunlight is incident on the top panel and some of it leaks or passes down to the bottom panel and is attached to each other.

Solar spectrum: The amount of solar energy available as a function of the wavelength of an incident photon, where the energy of each photon is 1.24 volts divided by the wavelength in microns.
Spectral response: The amount of current generated by a solar cell at the wavelength of the incident photon.

Electrical parallel: To connect the top and bottom electrodes of a solar cell to the top and bottom electrodes of other solar cells so as to generate solar cell current additively.
Electrical series: To connect the upper electrode of a solar cell to the lower electrode of another solar cell so that the voltage of the cell is applied.
Optical series: An arrangement in which light incident on one device, eg, a semiconductor, is partially absorbed within the device, and the remainder passes down to reach another device (eg, a semiconductor).
Tandem solar cell: A stack of solar cells in which incident light is partially absorbed by the upper battery, and the unabsorbed portion passes downward and reaches the lower battery.

Band gap or energy band gap: An energy profile characteristic of a semiconductor device that determines the electrical characteristics, current and voltage output of the semiconductor device, particularly including the energy difference between the valence and conduction bands of the semiconductor.
p / n junction: A diode formed by a junction between a p-type semiconductor and an n-type semiconductor.
Tunnel junction: A p / n junction that is heavily doped and exhibits ohmic electrical characteristics rather than diode characteristics.
Contact grid: low electrical resistance metal lines connected to each other so as to collect the current generated by the solar cell and so that the incident sunlight reaches most of the surface of the solar cell that is a semiconductor device.

Electrical equipment (Load): Devices that use electrical power, such as electrical appliances, heaters, and televisions, that require a power source.
Base: The body of the solar cell below the junction boundary in the semiconductor.
Bypass diode: A diode that is placed across a group of solar cells to shunt excess current and prevent damage to cells that are shielded from light when other cells in the group are illuminated.

  The purpose of manufacturing tandem solar energy conversion devices using multiple types of solar cells with different band gaps is that if solar cells convert photon energy close to their band gaps, photons much higher than their band gaps By being more efficient than converting energy. By subdividing the solar spectrum into multiple parts and using multiple solar cells optimized to convert solar energy in the appropriate part of the spectrum into electrical energy, the overall efficiency is significantly improved.

  Certain types of tandem solar cells are well known in the art. The most common type is a monolithic type in which a p / n junction is formed in a first semiconductor, then a tunnel junction is grown epitaxially, and a second junction of a high bandgap semiconductor is also grown epitaxially. is there. If necessary, a second tunnel junction and a higher bandgap semiconductor third p / n junction are also grown epitaxially. A tandem stack in which each semiconductor p / n junction is placed on top of another semiconductor p / n junction absorbs light with a photon energy greater than its band gap and the rest of the photon energy less than its band gap. Light is transmitted toward the underlying semiconductor p / n junction. The purpose of the tunnel junction is to function as a low resistance “ohmic” contact, connecting separate p / n junctions in series, and adding the voltages of each battery together. Since the junctions are in series, the current generated by each p / n junction solar cell in the stack must be the same, otherwise power and energy conversion efficiency will be reduced.

  In any prior art, solar cells on separate panels of a tandem structure are connected so that each panel in the stack has substantially the same voltage or current output, and the panels are connected in series to apply the voltage. It does not include steps to match or connect in parallel to add current, so the finished tandem energy conversion device has two outputs (usually one output connected to electrical “ground”) It is not possible to connect the energy conversion device to a single electrical device with only one electrode and another output electrode).

  In accordance with the present invention, a photovoltaic device comprises a stack of photovoltaic cells, eg photovoltaic (ie solar) energy conversion device (ECD) cells, each stack comprising a plurality of photovoltaic cells, ie an array of solar cells. Each panel is attached to each other so that when radiant (solar) energy is incident on the top panel, a portion of the radiant (solar) energy spectrum is absorbed thereby to produce electrical energy. Each successive panel of the laminated panel receives a portion of the radiant (solar) energy spectrum that was not absorbed by the upper panel. The energy transmitted to the photovoltaic panel below the laminate is absorbed there to generate electrical energy.

  In one aspect of the invention, the upper panel in the stack is fitted with a photovoltaic (solar) cell with a higher energy bandgap and the lower panel in the stack has a lower energy bandgap. A photovoltaic (solar) battery is attached. These photovoltaic (solar) cells are connected in electrical series and parallel so that each panel provides the desired voltage and current output, and the panels are electrically connected to each other and converted to useful solar power. Ensure that the amount of energy is greater than the amount produced by any panel alone.

  The present invention provides a light (solar) energy conversion device comprising a vertical stack of at least two panels stacked in a hierarchy from an upper panel to a lower panel, wherein each of the panels is within a vertical stack of panels. It includes a matched array of photovoltaic (solar) cells having a different energy band gap than the photovoltaic (solar) cells of other panels. Each of the panels in the vertical stack includes one of the panels with higher energy bandgap light (solar) cells, the other with lower energy bandgap light (solar) cells in the hierarchy and stack It is arranged to be located on the panel. The top surface of the device is adapted to receive light (solar) energy incident on the top panel.

  Each of the top panels absorbs a portion of sunlight having a photon energy greater than its energy band gap, and each top panel collects photons having a photon energy less than the larger light (solar) photon energy in the stack. Permeate up to one of the remaining lower level panels at the bottom. The photovoltaic (solar) cells in each panel are preferably connected electrically in series and the panels are connected in parallel. Alternatively, it is preferable that the light (solar) cells in each panel are electrically connected in parallel, and the panels are connected in series. The number of solar cells on each panel connected in series electrical arrangement is equal to the desired output voltage of each panel divided by the respective operating voltage of the photovoltaic (solar) cells on each panel Is preferred. The laminate of two panels preferably has a GaAs light (solar) cell attached to the upper panel and a silicon solar cell attached to the lower panel.

  In another embodiment, the top panel is fitted with a photovoltaic (solar) cell selected from the group consisting of GaAs, GaInP, GaAsP, amorphous silicon, CdTe, and CdZnTe, and the bottom panel is made of crystalline silicon, A photovoltaic (solar) battery selected from the group consisting of crystalline silicon, copper indium gallium diselenide, germanium, gallium indium nitride, gallium indium arsenide is attached.

  The three-panel stack includes an upper panel, an intermediate panel, and a lower panel, which are arranged in order from top to bottom, and the upper panel has a light (solar) battery with an energy band gap greater than 1.7 eV. The lower panel has a light (solar) battery with an energy band gap of less than 1.1 eV, and the middle panel has an energy band gap attached to the upper and lower panels. It is preferred that a photovoltaic (solar) battery in between is attached. The light (solar) cells in each panel are preferably arranged in parallel and separated by dielectric spacers or in close contact with each other.

  In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a light (solar) energy conversion device is provided for light incident on a top panel in a stack comprising an array of light (solar) cells, each panel having a different energy band gap. Solar) comprising at least two panels arranged in the direction of energy. The panels are arranged in a vertical stack where panels with higher energy bandgap photovoltaic (solar) cells are positioned on top of panels with lower energy bandgap photovoltaic (solar) cells, each panel Adapted to absorb a portion of sunlight having a (solar) photon energy greater than the energy bandgap and transmitting light (solar) photons having an energy less than that energy bandgap to the lower panel in the stack To be adapted.

  The photovoltaic (solar) cells in each panel are electrically connected in series and the panels are connected in parallel, or the photovoltaic (solar) cells in each panel are electrically connected in parallel, and the panels are in series It is preferable to be connected. The number of photovoltaic (solar) cells on each panel connected in parallel electrical arrangement is equal to the desired output current of each panel divided by the operating current of each of the solar cells on each panel. Is preferred.

  The transparency of the upper panel and the solid bottom panel can reflect some of the light transmitted through the upper panel back up by the lower panel, resulting in additional power output and low loss. The benefit of such upward reflection depends on the amount of light penetrating each panel and the reflective properties of the lower panel.

  The laminate of two panels preferably has a GaAs light (solar) cell attached to the upper panel and a silicon solar cell attached to the lower panel. Alternatively, a solar cell selected from the group consisting of GaAs, GaInP, GaAsP, amorphous silicon, CdTe, and CdZnTe is attached to the upper panel, and crystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, copper diselenide is attached to the lower panel. A photovoltaic (solar) cell selected from the group consisting of indium gallium, germanium, gallium indium nitride, gallium indium arsenide is attached.

  According to yet another aspect of the invention, the three photovoltaic (solar) cell panels in the stack include an upper panel, an intermediate panel and a lower panel arranged in order from top to bottom. Mounted on the top panel is a solar cell with an energy band gap greater than about 1.7 eV. A solar cell with an energy band gap of less than about 1.1 eV is attached to the lower panel. The intermediate panel is attached with a solar cell with an energy band gap between the band gaps of the cells attached to the upper and lower panels. Preferably, a group of photovoltaic (solar) cells is represented as a unit, and each unit includes a protective bypass diode. The light (solar) cells in each panel are preferably separated by a dielectric spacer, or the light (solar) cells in each panel are preferably in close contact with each other.

  The invention and its objects and features will become more apparent from the following detailed description and appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

1 shows a tandem energy conversion (TEC) device consisting of two stacked solar panels according to the present invention. 1 shows a tandem energy conversion (TEC) device consisting of three stacked solar panels according to the present invention. (A) is a tandem energy conversion (TEC) solar with solar cell upper and lower panels according to the present invention, with the solar cells on each panel connected in electrical series and the panels connected in parallel. A battery device is shown, (B) is a schematic electrical circuit diagram of the TEC solar cell device shown in (A). (A) has tandem energy according to the present invention, comprising the upper and lower panels of solar cells, the solar cells on each panel being connected in electrical parallel rather than in electrical series, and each panel being connected in series Fig. 5 shows an alternative arrangement of conversion (TEC) solar cell devices. The solar cells on each panel are separated from each other by dielectric spacers. (B) is an electric circuit diagram of the TEC solar cell device shown in (A). (A) shows the deformation | transformation of the TEC solar cell device of FIG. 4 (A) with which the solar cell of each panel was mutually contact | adhered and the panel was connected in series. (B) is an electrical circuit diagram of the TEC solar cell device shown in (A), and is the same as FIG. 4 (B) because the electrical connection is not changed. (A) shows the deformation | transformation of the TEC solar cell device of FIG. 5 (A) with which the solar cell of each panel was mutually contact | adhered and the panel was connected in parallel. (B) is an electrical circuit diagram of the TEC solar cell device of (A), showing the parallel electrical connection of the panels. (A) shows a tandem energy conversion (TEC) solar cell device in which alternating p / n and n / p type solar cells are connected in electrical series according to the present invention. (B) is a circuit diagram of the TEC solar cell device of (A).

  The following detailed description explains preferred embodiments of the invention and the advantages and features thereof with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Tandem solar panel.
FIG. 1 shows a tandem energy conversion (TEC) solar cell device 10 that includes an upper solar panel 11 having three upper solar cells 12 and a lower solar panel 15 having lower solar cells 14. It is composed of a laminate ST1 in a tandem arrangement of two solar cell panels (as an example of a photovoltaic cell panel). As shown, the lower solar panel 15 is below the upper solar panel 11, but the structure can be inverted when electromagnetic energy is supplied from below. The upper solar cell panel 11 includes a transparent upper substrate 13 having an upper surface to which a transparent conductive oxide (TCO) pad 18 is attached. On the upper surface of the TCO pad 18, three wide upper solar cells, which are diodes, are juxtaposed in parallel at a narrow interval.

  For convenience of illustration, only three upper solar cells are shown, but many more solar cells can be used as well. The upper solar cell, on both sides, has conductive electrodes adapted for connection in the electrical circuit, i.e. the anode and the cathode, and generates a direct current. There is an upper electrode on each upper surface of the upper solar cell 12, and a lower electrode on each bottom surface of the upper solar cell 12.

  As is the case with all diodes, as is well known to those skilled in the art, the upper and lower electrodes of a solar cell (diode) have opposite polarities. For example, all the upper electrodes can be cathodes with a negative polarity, in which case all the lower electrodes can be anodes with a positive polarity, or can be reversed depending on how they are connected in the circuit . The spacing between the upper solar cells 12 is minimized so that almost no light passes between them. The TCO layer 18 is composed of a material that transmits light that is not absorbed by the set of several upper solar cells 12 therethrough. Therefore, light not absorbed by the upper solar cell 12 passes through the transparent upper surface 13 and reaches the lower solar cell panel 15 below.

  In particular, the TCO layer 18 can be made of a conductive material such as indium tin oxide, tin oxide, or zinc oxide. Since the lower electrode of the solar cell 12 is coupled to the TCO layer 18, that is, in electrical and mechanical contact, the TCO layer 18 is used as a lower electrode and is electrically positioned at a position such as the exposed end 9 of the TCO layer 18. A connection can be formed.

  The lower solar cell panel 15 includes a bottom substrate 16, which has an upper surface on which a number of lower solar cells 14 are arranged in parallel at narrow intervals on the upper surface of the bottom conductive substrate 16. For convenience of illustration, only four solar cells 14 are shown, but many more can be used as well. The four lower solar cells 14 are narrower than the upper solar cell 12, but are also diodes having upper and lower electrodes with opposite polarities on the top and bottom surfaces.

  For example, as described above with respect to the upper solar panel 11, it is preferable that all the upper electrodes can have a negative polarity and that all the lower electrodes can have a positive polarity, or vice versa, It is also preferred that it can vary depending on how the electrodes are connected in the circuit, as is well understood by those skilled in the art. The conductive bottom substrate 16 does not need to be transparent, and can be made of a conductive material such as metal, which is used as a lower electrode to be electrically connected to a location such as the exposed end 19 of the bottom substrate 16. Can be formed.

  The radiant energy 17 can be light, sunlight, or other radiant energy from the sun or other energy source, but is directed downward so as to be incident on the stacked body ST1 including the upper surface of the upper solar cell 12. Illustrated. The portion of the solar spectrum that has a photon energy higher than the band gap of the upper solar cell 12 is largely absorbed by the solar cell and thereby converted to electrical energy.

  The portion of the solar spectrum having a photon energy lower than the band gap of the upper solar cell 12 is transmitted downward through the upper solar cell 12, the TCO layer 18 and the transparent upper substrate 13, and on the upper surface of the lower solar cell panel 15 and above it. Attached to the lower solar cell 14 where the portion of the solar spectrum having an energy higher than the band gap of the lower solar cell 14 is converted into electrical energy. The space between the upper solar cell 12 and the lower solar cell 14 has a minimum width so that the maximum amount of sunlight can be collected with respect to the minimum cell area. Otherwise, the space between the upper solar cell 12 and the lower solar cell 14 will cause an efficiency loss.

  For convenience of illustration, only three upper solar cells 12 are shown on the upper solar cell panel 11, and only four lower solar cells are shown on the lower solar cell panel 15. In practice, the number of solar cells on each of the solar panels 11 and 15 is determined by dividing the desired output voltage of the panel by the output voltage of the individual solar cells above it.

Multiple tandem solar panels.
FIG. 2 shows a tandem type energy conversion comprising another stack ST2 of a plurality (three) of solar cell panels 11, 21 and 23 to which three sets of solar cells 12, 22, and 24, respectively, are attached. TEC) A solar cell device 20 is shown. The solar cells 12, 22, and 24 have both an upper electrode formed on the top surface and a lower electrode formed on the bottom surface, as is well understood by those skilled in the art. The upper and lower electrodes will usually have opposite polarities. For example, all upper electrodes can have a negative polarity and all lower electrodes can have positive electrodes, or can be consistently reversed.

  The upper panel 11 and the intermediate panel 21 are composed of a transparent upper substrate 13 and a transparent intermediate substrate 13 ′ at the bottom of the upper and intermediate solar cell panels 11 and 21, and an upper TCO layer 18 and an intermediate TCO layer are formed on their upper surfaces, respectively. 18 'is formed. The upper TCO layer 18 can be used as a lower electrode to form an electrical connection at a position such as its exposed end 9. Similarly, the intermediate TCO layer 18 'can be used as a lower electrode to form an electrical connection at a location such as its exposed end 9'.

  As in FIG. 1, there are several, for example, three upper solar cells 12 attached to the top surface of the TCO layer 18 of the upper panel 11, and their lower electrodes are coupled to the TCO layer 18, ie, electrical And mechanical contact. A larger number of normally small intermediate solar cells 22, illustrated as only four cells for convenience of illustration, are formed on the upper surface of the intermediate TCO layer 18 ′ of the intermediate panel 21 of the intermediate solar cell 22.

  Although only seven lower solar cells 24 are illustrated (for convenience of illustration), many more are formed on the upper surface of the conductive substrate 16 ′ of the bottom panel 23 of the solar cell 24. Similar to FIG. 1, the bottom substrate 16 ′ does not need to be transparent, but can be composed of a conductive material such as metal, which is used as a lower electrode to expose the exposed end 19 ′ of the bottom substrate 16 ′. An electrical connection can be formed at such a position. Sunlight, light, or other radiant energy 17 is incident on the exposed upper surfaces of the upper solar cell 12 and the TCO layer 18 of the upper panel 11 as in FIG.

  The solar cells shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 are reduced in size on the lower panel so that the same net voltage output from each panel is a requirement for connecting the panels in parallel. This device size requirement is not necessary when panels are connected in series when current output needs to be the same instead of voltage output.

  Of the solar spectrum of light, sunlight or other radiant energy source 17, most of the portion of the upper panel 11 having photon energy higher than the band gap of the upper solar cell 12 is absorbed by the upper solar cell 12 and is electric energy. Is converted to However, the portion of the solar spectrum having a photon energy lower than the band gap of the upper solar cell 12 passes through the upper solar cell 12, the TCO layer 18 and the transparent upper substrate 13 and reaches the lower panel 21 where the intermediate solar cell 22. The portion of the solar spectrum that has an energy higher than the band gap is converted to electrical energy.

  A portion of the solar spectrum higher than the band gap of the intermediate solar cell 22 in the intermediate panel 21 is absorbed by the solar cell 22. The remaining energy, that is, the portion of the solar spectrum that has a photon energy lower than the band gap of the intermediate solar cell 22 is transmitted through the intermediate TCO layer 18 ′ and the transparent intermediate substrate 13 ′ and the bottom cell 24 on the bottom panel 23 below. The solar energy is absorbed and converted into electrical energy.

  The solar cells on each panel need not all be the same size. What is needed is to connect the batteries on each panel in electrical series, in parallel, or a combination of series and parallel to achieve the desired output. The use of different bandgap solar cells on a single panel is possible when doing so provides special benefits. However, in general, it is preferred to mount the same bandgap solar cell on each of the individual panels.

Solar cell materials with different band gaps.
A range of materials can be used as solar cells for each panel. For example, the top panel 11 of FIG. 1 includes amorphous silicon (aSi), gallium arsenide (GaAs), cadmium zinc telluride (CdZnTe), gallium indium phosphide (GaInP), or cadmium telluride (CdTe), A battery with a band gap equal to or greater than 1.4 electron volts (eV) can be installed, while the lower panel includes silicon (Si), germanium (Ge), indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs), nitride A battery with a band gap of 1.1 eV or less, such as gallium indium (GaInN), gallium indium arsenide nitride (GaInAsN), or copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) can be attached. Other materials having a band gap within the preferred range can also be used.

  For the upper battery 12 of FIG. 2, equal to 1.7 eV, such as aSi, gallium indium phosphide (GaInP), aluminum gallium phosphide (AlGaP), gallium aluminum arsenide (GaAlAs), and gallium arsenide phosphide (GaAsP). A material having a higher bandgap such as or higher is preferred, where the bandgap can be adjusted by the composition of the semiconductor alloy.

  With respect to the intermediate panel 21, the intermediate solar cell 22 has a band gap of less than 1.7 eV, such as silicon (Si), gallium arsenide (GaAs), gallium indium arsenide (GaInAs), CIGS, and gallium indium arsenide nitride (GaInAsN). And can be made of a semiconductor having 1.0 eV or more.

  With respect to the lower panel 23, the solar cell may be made of a semiconductor with a band gap of less than 1.1 eV, such as GaInAs, silicon germanium (SiGe), Ge, gallium antimony (GaSb), and alloys of these materials. Where the band gap is determined by the composition of the alloy.

  As in FIG. 1, the number of cells 12, 22, and 24 on panels 11, 21, and 23 is determined by the desired voltage output of the panel and the voltage output of the individual cells.

TEC solar panel with solar cells connected in series on separate TCO pads.
FIG. 3 (A) shows another embodiment of a tandem energy conversion (TEC) solar cell device 30 comprising a stack ST3 of two solar cell panels consisting of an upper panel 25 and a lower panel 31, where The solar cells on the upper panel 25 are connected to a first set of electrical series connections, and the solar cells on the lower panel 31 are connected to a second set of electrical series connections. FIG. 3B is a schematic electrical circuit diagram of the TEC solar cell device 30 shown in FIG.

  3A, the upper panel 25 includes two solar cells 27A and 27B that are diodes formed on the upper surfaces of two TCO pads 26A and 26B formed side by side on a transparent dielectric substrate 37. TCO pads 26A and 26B are used as electrodes to form an electrical connection from the bottom electrodes of solar cells 27A and 27B to the next element in the circuit. The conductive interconnect 28 connects the TCO layer 26A to the upper electrode of the right solar cell 27B and connects the two solar cells 27A and 27B on the upper panel 25 in electrical series. Specifically, the bottom electrode of the left solar cell 27A is connected to the top surface of the left TCO layer 26A by direct contact, the TCO layer 26A is connected to the interconnect 28, and then the interconnect 28 is the top of the right solar cell 27B. Connected to the electrode.

  In short, on the upper panel 25, the bottom surface of the left solar cell 27A is connected to the top surface of the adjacent right solar cell 27B through the left TCO layer 26A connected to the interconnect 28, resulting in the voltage of the cells connected in series. Are added. The terminal T1 is connected to the connector A1 by the electric line 34, and the connector A1 is connected to the upper electrode of the left solar cell 27A by direct contact. The bottom electrode of the right solar cell 27B is connected to the connector B1 by direct contact with the upper surface of the right TCO pad 26B, and the connector B1 is connected to the right external terminal T2 by the electric line 36.

  3A, the lower panel 31 includes a set of four solar cells 33A, 33B, 33C, and 33D, each of which has four TCO pads 32A, 32B, 32C formed on the bottom substrate 38. , And 32D each on one top surface. The solar cells 33A, 33B, 33C and 33D are similar to the connections described above with respect to the top panel 25 by the TCO pads 32A, 32B, 32C and 32D and a set of conductive interconnects 35A, 35B and 35C. Connected in electrical series. In the lower panel 31, from the left to the right, the bottom surfaces of the batteries 33A, 33B, and 33C respectively correspond to the upper surfaces of the adjacent solar cells 33B, 33C, and 33D on the right side, and the corresponding TCO pads 32A, 32B, or 32C. , Connected by corresponding conductive interconnects 35A, 35B, and 35C, so that the voltages of the batteries, also connected in series, are added together.

  The left electrodes A1 and A2 of the panels 25 and 31 are connected to each other by a wire path 34, which connects them both to the terminal T1. The right electrodes B1 and B2 of the panels 25 and 31 are connected to each other by an electric line 36 and connected to a terminal T2, and the electric line 36 connects the panels 25 and 31 in parallel to form a two-panel TEC solar cell device 30. Since the two-terminal device is used and the panels 25 and 31 are connected in parallel, the voltage of each panel is the same. This is done by making the number of cells connected in series equal to the desired voltage output divided by the voltage output of the solar cells on each panel.

  For example, if the desired voltage output is 16 volts, if the solar cell 27 on the panel 25 has an output of 1 volt, 16 cells are connected in series by the interconnect 28 while the lower panel 31 When the battery 33 has an output of 0.5 volts, 32 batteries 33 are connected in series. The solar cells 27A / 27B can be, for example, GaAs with 1 volt output, and the battery 33 can be Si with 0.5 volt output.

  The energy conversion device of three or more panels as shown in FIG. 2 is that the number of cells connected in series is equal to the total desired output voltage divided by the output voltage of the solar cells on each panel. Thus, the same principle can be adopted. A group of batteries connected in series on each panel to produce the desired total output voltage can be referred to as a “unit” for purposes of the present invention. Each unit has the same voltage output, and the panel can include multiple units. Units can be connected in parallel on each panel to obtain more current output.

  As shown in the schematic electrical diagram of FIG. 3B, the TEC solar cell device 30 also includes an upper bypass diode D1 for the upper panel of solar cells 27A / 27B, and solar cells 33A / 33B / 33C / 33D. A lower bypass diode D2 for the lower panel can be incorporated to protect the TEC solar cell device 30 when a group of batteries are shielded from sunlight while other batteries are exposed to sunlight.

A solar cell panel connected in series with solar cells on the panel separated by dielectric spacers.
FIG. 4A shows an alternative arrangement of a TEC solar cell device 40A with a stack ST4 of an upper panel 41 and a lower panel 51, where the upper panel 41 includes a set of upper solar cells 43. The lower panel 51 includes a set of lower solar cells 53, and these solar cells are not electrically connected in series but are electrically connected in parallel within the panel. The terminal T3 is connected to the connector A3 by the electric line 54, and the connector A3 is connected to the upper electrode of the left solar cell 43 in the upper panel 41 by direct contact. The bottom electrode of the right solar cell 53 is connected to the connector A 6 by direct contact with the upper surface of the conductive substrate 15, and the connector A 6 is connected to the terminal T 6 by the electric line 59.

  FIG. 4B is a schematic electrical circuit diagram of the TEC solar cell device 40A shown in FIG. The upper panel 41 and the lower panel 51 can be electrically connected in series. In this case, the current supplied by each panel needs to be the same. Since the upper panel 41 and the lower panel 51 are connected in series in the completed energy conversion device rather than in parallel, the voltage outputs of the two panels, ie, the upper panel 41 and the lower panel 51 are added.

  4A, the upper panel 41 includes an upper solar cell 43 (diode) separated by a dielectric spacer 47, and the lower panel 51 includes a lower solar cell 53 (diode) separated by a dielectric spacer 57. . The upper solar cell 43 of the upper panel 41 has a lower electrode attached on the TCO layer 39 formed on the upper surface of the upper transparent substrate 13, as in FIG. Sunlight having energy smaller than the band gap is transmitted to the lower panel 51 and the lower solar cell 53. On the upper panel 41, the TCO conductive layer 39 provides an electrical connection to the lower electrode on the back side of the upper solar cell 43 and connects them together.

  Similarly, the conductive substrate 15 to which the lower solar cell 53 is attached on the lower panel 51 electrically connects the lower electrodes on the back surface of the lower solar cell 53 to each other. The upper electrode on the front surface of the upper solar cell 43 and the upper electrode on the front surface of the lower solar cell 53 are electrically connected in parallel by an upper connector 45 and a lower connector 55, respectively, as shown in FIG. 4B. The The upper electrodes of the solar cells 43 and 53 are shown with a dual connection to the upper electrode, taking into account the mechanical spacing between the connection points to the upper electrode at each end of the A3 and upper and lower connectors 45 and 55. It was.

Electrically connected solar cell panels having in-panel batteries in close contact with each other.
FIGS. 5A and 5B show an alternative arrangement of FIGS. 4A and 4B, in which the dielectric spacers 47 and 57 are omitted and the solar cells on the panels 41 and 51 are connected to each other. In close contact, the structure and circuitry are otherwise the same. As shown in FIG. 5A, optional dielectric spacers 47 and 57 that insulate the individual batteries 43 and 53 from the adjacent batteries in the stack ST4 of FIG. Omitted from the embodiment of the invention shown in A). 4A, the stacked body ST5 of FIG. 5A includes alternative parallel connections of solar cells 43 and 53 that are in close contact with each other. The circuit diagram shown in FIG. 5B is the same as FIG. 4B because the electrical connection is not changed.

  In the upper panel 41 of FIGS. 4A and 5A, the connector 45 electrically connects the upper electrodes of the upper solar cell 43 of the upper panel 41 to each other. The bottom TCO conductive layer 39 connects the lower electrode of the upper solar cell 43 of the upper panel 41. Therefore, the solar cell 43 is connected in parallel between the connector A3 on the upper left solar cell 43 and the connector A4 on the upper surface of the right end portion of the TCO conductive layer 39.

  In the lower panel 51, the lower connector 55 at the top of the lower solar cell 53 and the conductive substrate 15 at the bottom of the lower panel 51 are connected to the lower solar cell 53 in the lower panel, the connector A5 on the upper left solar cell 53, and They are provided so as to be connected in parallel with the connector A6 on the upper surface of the right end portion of the lower substrate 15.

  The connectors A3 and A4 of the upper panel 41 and the connectors A5 and A6 of the lower panel 51 are provided so as to connect the upper panel 41 and the lower panel 51 in series or in parallel. For example, as shown in FIGS. 4 (A) and 4 (B) and FIGS. 5 (A) and 5 (B), connectors A4 and A5 are connected to each other, and the panels are arranged in electrical series to output the solar cell device 40A. A voltage may appear across connectors A3 and A6. Their coupling determines which is the external connection electrode or output electrode of the energy conversion device.

  Each panel needs to have the same current output in order to connect the panels in electrical series. The number of batteries that need to be connected in parallel on each panel is the total output current divided by the output current of each battery. For example, if each panel is intended to provide an output current of 6 amps, if each battery outputs 0.5 amps, connect 12 batteries in parallel and each battery will deliver 0.4 amps. For output, 15 batteries are connected in parallel.

Solar cell panels connected in parallel with the in-panel batteries in close contact with each other.
Alternatively, as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, FIGS. 6A and 6B, which are variations of FIGS. 5A and 5B, are for connecting panels 41 and 51 in electrical parallel. , Connectors A3 and A5 connected to each other by line 58A, and connectors A4 and A6 connected to each other by line 58B.

  Each group of solar cells connected in parallel to output the desired current can be considered a unit. The panel can include multiple units, each having the same current output. Units on each panel can be connected in series to add voltage at a substantially constant current, or can be connected in parallel to obtain more current at a substantially constant voltage. Each unit can also incorporate a bypass diode to protect the unit when a group of batteries are shielded from sunlight while other batteries are exposed to sunlight.

A solar cell panel having adjacent solar cells that are physically inverted and connected in series.
FIG. 7A shows a tandem energy conversion (TEC) solar cell device in which alternating p / n and n / p type solar cells are connected in electrical series according to the present invention. FIG. 7B is a circuit diagram of the TEC solar cell device shown in FIG. FIG. 7A shows an alternating series connection of a set of solar cells 63A, 64A, 63B, 64B, 63C and 64C on the panel 60, which includes a set of three TCO pads 62A, 62B and 62C. The first set of pn solar cells 63A, 63B and 63C, which are formed above, and the second set of diodes, which are also upside down, ie physically inverted n- p-type solar cells 64A, 64B and 64C are included.

  The solar cells 63A, 64A, 63B, 64B, 63C, and 64C are juxtaposed on the upper surface of the transparent substrate 61 when another solar cell panel (not shown for convenience of illustration) is present below the solar cells. The polarity of the first set of solar cells 63A, 63B, 63C and the second set of solar cells 64A, 64B, 64C in series is such that their polarity is reversed from top to bottom, so that p / It is staggered from an n junction to an n / p junction, then to a p / n junction, then to an n / p junction. In other words, the panel 60 consists of several solar cells 63A, 63B, and 63C having p-type top and n-type bottoms in parallel with solar cells 64A, 64B, and 64C having n-type top and p-type bottoms. Become.

  Conductive TCO pads 62A, 62B, and 62C add adjacent battery voltages, and connecting electrodes 65A and 65B are the voltage of adjacent battery 64A and 64B pairs disposed on TCO pads 62A and 62B, and The voltage of the pair of adjacent batteries 64B and 63C disposed on the TCO pads 62B and 62C is added.

  External electrodes 66 and 67 provided for external connection of panel 60 are connected to battery 63A and battery 64C, respectively. The anode of battery 63A is connected to external electrode 66, and the cathode of battery 63A is connected and coupled to TCO layer 62A. The anode of battery 64A is connected and coupled to TCO layer 62A, and the cathode of battery 64A is connected to connection electrode 65A. Next, the anode of the battery 63B is connected to the connection electrode 65A, and the cathode of the battery 63B is connected and coupled to the TCO layer 62B. The anode of battery 64B is connected and coupled to TCO layer 62B, and the cathode of battery 64B is connected to connection electrode 65B. Next, the anode of the battery 63C is connected to the connection electrode 65B, and the cathode of the battery 63C is connected and coupled to the TCO layer 62C. The anode of the battery 64C is connected and coupled to the TCO layer 62C, and the cathode of the battery 64C is connected to the external electrode 67. FIG. 7B shows the device connection between the external electrodes 66 and 67 detailed above.

  Each panel in the panel stack, such as panel 60 of FIG. 7A, includes a number of series connected batteries equal to the total output voltage of the desired panel divided by the output voltage of each battery.

  For example, the panel 60 can include a group of 16 cells each outputting 1 volt at a substantially constant current, and the second panel can each include 0.5 volt at a substantially constant current. A group of 32 batteries to output can be included. A group of batteries connected in series to obtain a desired voltage output represents a unit. The panel can include multiple units connected in series for higher voltage output, multiple units connected in parallel for higher current output, or multiple units that combine series and parallel connections. Bypass diodes can be incorporated into each unit or group of units to protect the unit against partial sunlight shading. Bypass diodes can also be used with the batteries in the unit to protect the batteries against partial sunlight shading.

  Tandem energy conversion (TEC) devices consist of panels that are connected in parallel with each other and therefore have the same voltage output, and are superior to series-connected panels that require equal current outputs. As the incident solar spectrum changes over the years over the day, the current output of a set of series connected panels changes linearly with the change in spectrum, while the voltage output of parallel connected panels is Changes logarithmically with changes, making the parallel panel connection less sensitive to such solar spectrum changes than the series panel connection.

  It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the combination of the solar cells on each panel and the series and parallel connections of the panel itself can be made to provide the desired result of voltage and current output.

  An important feature of the present invention is that the solar panels are placed in optical series so that each panel absorbs a portion of the incident solar spectrum and transmits the rest, then the panels are connected in electrical series (in this case, Each panel must output the same current) and add their voltage outputs together, or connect in electrical parallel (in this case each panel must output the same voltage output) It is to add these current outputs together.

  An additional advantage of making each panel separately and combining them at the end of the creation process is that each solar cell can be manufactured separately, so that each material can be temperature, thickness, if needed The optimization process can be performed taking into account that different process conditions, such as the type of surface coating, may be required. The optimized solar panel is then combined to achieve the high performance / efficiency of the tandem approach.

  Since the foregoing description of the present invention clearly illustrates specific exemplary embodiments of the present invention, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention can be practiced with modification within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. It will be appreciated that changes may be made in form and detail without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Modifications within the scope of the present invention to the apparatus and method disclosed above will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art.

  Thus, although the invention has been disclosed in connection with its exemplary embodiments described above, modifications can be made to produce other embodiments that may fall within the spirit and scope of the invention, and all such It should be understood that such modifications are within the scope of the invention and that the invention encompasses objects defined by the appended claims.

9, 19, 19 ': Exposed ends 10, 20, 30, 40A: Tandem energy conversion (TEC) solar cell devices 11, 25, 41: Upper solar panel 12, 27A, 27B, 43: Upper solar cell 13 : Transparent upper substrate 13 ': Transparent intermediate substrates 14, 24, 53: Lower solar cells 15, 23, 31, 33A, 33B, 33C, 33D, 51: Lower solar cell panels 16, 16', 38: Bottom substrate 17: Radiant energy 18, 18 ', 26A, 26B, 32A, 32B, 32C, 32D, 39: Transparent conductive oxide (TCO) pad (TCO layer)
21: Intermediate solar cell panel 22: Intermediate solar cells 28, 35A, 35B, 35C: Conductive interconnects 34, 36, 54, 58, 58A, 58B, 59: Electric lines 37: Transparent dielectric substrates 45, 55: Connectors 47, 57: Dielectric spacer 60: Panels 62A, 62B, 62C: TCO pads 63A, 64A, 63B, 64B, 63C, 64C: Solar cells 65A, 65B: Connection electrodes 66, 67: External electrodes

Claims (20)

  1. A solar energy conversion device,
    Comprising a vertical stack of at least two panels layered hierarchically from an upper panel to a lower panel;
    Each of the panels includes a matched array of solar cells, the solar cells having a different energy band gap than the solar cells of other panels in the vertical stack of panels;
    Each of the panels in the vertical stack is another of the panels in which the panel with higher energy band gap solar cells includes lower energy band gap solar cells in the hierarchy and in the stack. It is arranged to be located above and
    The top surface of the device is adapted to receive solar energy incident on the top panel;
    Each top panel absorbs a portion of sunlight having a photon energy greater than its energy bandgap, and each top panel has a sun having a photon energy less than the greater photon energy. Transmitting photons to the remaining one of the panels positioned lower in the hierarchy and lower in the stack;
    Energy conversion device.
  2.   The energy conversion device according to claim 1, wherein the solar cells in each of the panels are electrically connected in series, and the panels are connected in parallel.
  3.   The energy conversion device according to claim 1, wherein the solar cells in each of the panels are electrically connected in parallel, and the panels are connected in series.
  4.   The number of solar cells on each of the panels connected in a parallel electrical arrangement is equal to the desired output voltage of each panel divided by the operating voltage of each of the solar cells on each panel, The energy conversion device according to claim 2.
  5.   The energy conversion device according to claim 4, comprising a laminate of two panels having a GaAs solar cell mounted on the upper panel and a silicon solar cell mounted on the lower panel.
  6. The upper panel having a solar cell selected from the group consisting of GaAs, GaInP, GaAsP, amorphous silicon, CdTe, and CdZnTe attached thereto;
    5. The lower panel having attached thereto a solar cell selected from the group consisting of crystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, copper indium gallium diselenide, germanium, gallium indium nitride, and gallium indium arsenide. The energy conversion device described.
  7. Comprising three stacks of said panels, including an upper panel, an intermediate panel and a lower panel, arranged in order from top to bottom;
    A solar cell having an energy band gap greater than 1.7 eV is attached to the upper panel,
    A solar cell having an energy band gap smaller than 1.1 eV is attached to the lower panel,
    The intermediate panel is attached with a solar cell having a band gap in the middle of the band gap of the battery attached to the upper panel and the lower panel.
    The energy conversion device according to claim 4.
  8.   The energy conversion device of claim 1, wherein the solar cells in each of the panels are separated by a dielectric spacer.
  9.   9. The energy conversion device of claim 8, wherein a group of the solar cells is represented as a unit, and a protective bypass diode is included in each unit.
  10.   The energy conversion device according to claim 1, wherein the solar cells in each of the panels are arranged in parallel and in close contact with each other or separated by a dielectric spacer.
  11. A solar energy conversion device,
    Comprising at least two panels arranged in the direction of solar energy incident on the top panel;
    Each of the panels comprises an array of solar cells having different energy band gaps;
    The panel is disposed in a vertical stack in which the panel having a higher energy bandgap solar cell is positioned over the panel having a lower energy bandgap solar cell;
    Each of the panels is adapted to absorb a portion of sunlight having a photon energy that is greater than its energy band gap, and a photon having an energy that is less than its energy band gap is lower in the stack. Adapted to transmit up to the panel,
    Energy conversion device.
  12.   The energy conversion device according to claim 11, wherein the solar cells in each of the panels are electrically connected in series, and the panels are connected in parallel.
  13.   The energy conversion device according to claim 11, wherein the solar cells in each panel are electrically connected in parallel, and the panels are connected in series.
  14.   The number of solar cells on each panel connected in a parallel electrical arrangement is equal to the desired output current of each panel divided by the operating current of each solar cell on each panel. 14. The energy conversion device according to 13.
  15.   The number of solar cells on each panel connected in parallel electrical arrangement is equal to the desired output voltage of each panel divided by the operating voltage of each solar cell on each panel. 12. The energy conversion device according to 12.
  16.   12. An energy conversion device according to claim 11, comprising a stack of two panels having a GaAs solar cell mounted on the upper panel and a silicon solar cell mounted on the lower panel. .
  17. An upper panel to which is attached a solar cell selected from the group consisting of GaAs, GaInP, GaAsP, amorphous silicon, CdTe, and CdZnTe;
    The lower panel to which is attached a solar cell selected from the group consisting of crystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, copper indium gallium diselenide, germanium, gallium indium nitride, or gallium indium arsenide. The energy conversion device according to 11.
  18. Comprising a stack of three said panels including an upper panel, an intermediate panel and a lower panel, arranged in order from the top to the bottom;
    A solar cell having an energy band gap greater than 1.7 eV is attached to the upper panel,
    A solar cell having an energy band gap smaller than 1.1 eV is attached to the lower panel,
    The intermediate panel is attached with a solar cell having a band gap in the middle of the band gap of the battery attached to the upper panel and the lower panel.
    The energy conversion device according to claim 11.
  19.   The energy conversion device of claim 11, wherein a group of the solar cells is represented as a unit, and a protective bypass diode is included in each unit.
  20.   The energy conversion device of claim 11, wherein the solar cells in each panel are arranged in parallel and separated by dielectric spacers or in close contact with each other.
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